>> kimberly: that won't stop the pledges. promises. i don't lick to make promises i can't keep. i don't want to have resolutions. >> andrea: that is your resolution. >> greg: do you have a one more thing? >> kimberly: i'm doing it right now. tonight go on the record. i'm on at 10:00. greg is on. promote him. guest i'm on -- >> greg: i'm on. >> kimberly: we are taking whoever is left in the building. >> greg: i have the flu. i am not going to do -- >> kimberly: see if greg shows up or not. if he's not scared. >> greg: that is it for us on "the five." thank you for watching. hope you had a merry christmas. see you tomorrow. ♪ ♪ >> doug: the violence in syria reaches fever pitch as assad deals with a major defection. this is "special report."
♪ ♪ >> doug: good evening. i'm doug mckelway in for bret baier. christmas did not bring peace to syria. death toll rises each day with the estimates as high as 4,000 lives lost. president bashar assad struggled to hold on to power, the regime is still dealing with a major defection by a top general. leland vittert has the developments. >> reporter: continues to use helicopter and fighter jets at will. rebels now have the momentum. the amateur video confirmed shows the rebels fighting for back of the pickup trucks and turned in to machine gun carriers and they tighten it on the base. the less equip rebels fighting
for whatever fire power they can find or build. this is a school that has been taken over by the assad thugs explained this rebel. before launching a homemade rocket from nearby building. other videos from around the country show free syrian army fighters using the same crude weapon. however, turning citizens to seasonals with little or no training doesn't always work. they have many armor in the rebels stronghold. but the force appears to be waning as the rebels gape control. the latest blow to the regime came by way of the internet video. i have deflected claimed the former head of the syrian police. the army transformed to gangs and killing. committing massacre against the unarmed people two went out and demand liberty.
the latest video showing eight children and a dozen more adults amountedly killed by the regime showing russia unyielding support of assad appears to be cracking ever so slightly to bring renewed talks of some deal to move assad out. the downward psychoto war is grave concern to israeli leaders who fear most the regime chemical weapons falling in the hands of hezbollah or jihadist. today, reliable london-based newspaper reported the israeli prime minister flew to jordan for a secret meeting with the king to discuss options of how to deal with the chemical weapons. doug? >> doug: leland vittert in jerusalem. thank you. deadly christmas day storms that dumped snow on the nation's midsection and unleashed tornadoes in the south making the move to the northeast to mean flight dela delays and flight conditions
for post holiday travelers. mike tobin is following the story today. >> the death toll of wicked holiday weather passed six from travelers braving the wind and ice. nowhere hit harder than indiana where the storm dumped 18 inches of snow. >> the storm stretches to engler and generated blizzard warning for the southern state. all the people who made it to a destination for christmas faced the driving snow and slick roads for the return. >> my boss expect mess to be at work but i doubt that i will. i'm not driving my car. >> major hub of chicago and atlanta dodged the worst of the storm. however towns like indianapolis, louisville and boston logan airport endured many cancellation and delays, if they were not shut down altogether. >> i heard it is accumulating in raleigh this morning. we are a little nervous.
>> this is the same storm that whipped up 34 deadly tornadoes one caught on home video in alabama. >> look at that tornado. >> power transformers could be seen exploding. nearly 300,000 people are left without power. 100,000 of them in the little rock area alone. tornadic fury and punishing straight line winds tore residents away from christmas celebrations to seek shelter. >> i pray to god as loud as i could. i was just praying for my safety. >> left in the wake, traffic disrupted by town trees, structures and homes destroyed, people displayed one day after christmas. >> there were more than 1300 flight cancellations nationwide. 600 car wrecks in minnesota alone. governor scott walker of wisconsin declared a state of emergency. the national guard was activated in indiana and arkansas. meanwhile, the storm is still churning for the eastern seaboard. doug? >> doug: mike tobin in chicago. thank you.
u.s. shoppers spent cautiously this holiday season. retailers saw the worst year over year performance since 2008. markets were down slightly. the dow dropped 24-1/2. the s&p 500 slipped 7. nasdaq fell 22.5. president obama has been in hawaii for some holiday r&r. the republican lawmakers are likely hoping that means he is rested and ready make a deal on the fiscal cliff. however, chief white house correspondent ed henry tells us that washington may have to set with a backup plan to the backup plan. >> christmas tradition for president obama. he and first lady michelle obama saying thanks at the marine corps base hawaii. >> so many of you make sacrifices day in and day out on behalf of the freedom and behalf of the security. >> now the president is giving up some vacation time rushing back to washington aboard air force one late tonight to deal with the looming fiscal cliff. after that red eye, the president will no doubt need coffee. starbucks decided to get political in the washington, d.c., shops, by having employees write come together
on cups. ceo howard schultz writing in open letter, "my hope is the simple message will serve as holiday reminder from starbuck of the spirit that bridgeed differences and we have the power to come together and make a difference in every season of the year." the president and speaker john boehner have not spoken in nearly a week. when the house republicans convene conference call today, all they were told is lawmakers will get 48 hours' notice if and when they need to come back to session. the talks first stall over the preferred option of plan "a." moving from the income level of $250,000 to $400,000. the focus shifted to plan "b," boehner fallback and would have raised tax on those making $1 million but failed when could not get republican votes.
>> all eyes turn to the senate that could be key to a deal on plan "c." scaled-back bill that the president says will focus on unemployment benefits and reverting to the 250,000 level on taxes. >> i asked leaders of congress to work toward a package that prevents a tax hike on middle class americans, protects unemployment insurance for 2 million americans. lays the groundwork for further work on growth and deficit reduction. >> that means taxes go up for some now and spending cut on medicare and other programs are kicked to another date. >> what the president offered so far won't do anything to solve the spending problem and begin to address the crippling debt. >> gallup in early december saying 58% of the public thought we'd avert the fiscal cliff. new poll shows it's dipped to 50% thinking that. the public thinks we are headed for a big problem.
>> doug: breaking news from treasury secretary geithner it go about the debt ceiling. are we about to go to default? >> yes and no. secretary gite it go says today that we will hit debt ceiling on december 31, new year's eve. it only buys a couple of months. it proves even if we get through the fiscal cliff situation we are headed for a major showdown next year. >> doug: ed henry traveling with the president in honolulu. what happens if we go over the fiscal cliff? molly henneberg explains it means more money of the of your wallet. >> taxes are going up on everyone immediately. if washington can't come to a deal on the fiscal cliff. >> you have less money in a difficult economy with little
clarity. >> the economy will go down sharply. >> look at the number from the tax policy center. this is the average tax hit the families take on top of what they pay on taxes. those make between $40,000 and $50,000 pay extra $1700. >> if you manage to make over $200,000, it will be a big jump up. you will need to send a check to uncle sam for $14,000 initial dollars. $500,000 to $1 million pays $34,000 more.
they want $215,000 on top of what you pay in taxes. >> the wealth manager says the money you have left as far as businesses also deal with their own tax hikes. >> you are going to see less money in your paycheck. >> the government has to bite the bullet with $1.2 trillion in spending cuts. more than half of that is to the defense budget. >> they say families may need austerity calculation before making big purchases. look at the money you have and the money you need in the future to decide if you need the next big picture. doug? >> doug: thank you, molly. residents of the webster new york neighborhood set ablaze christmas eve have been allowed to return back to their homes. they say exconflict william spangler set the fire as a trap to lure firefighters to their death before turning the gun on himself. four were struck with bull lels, two survived and are in
stable condition. somber christmas day in newtown, connecticut. volunteers took three-hour shift to ensure 26 candles stayed lit at candle light vigil. it was filled with snow covered teddy bears, flowers and toys. two tv news hosts have a little explaining to do on the topic of gun control. that's later in the grapevine. up next, is the federal government shirking duty when it comes to public input about
is >> doug: state department officials are partially to blame at the benghazi consulate that left four miles per hours dead might get off easier than originally thought. "new york post" report that individuals remain on the state department payroll and will be back to work soon. they point to a statement saying all four are on administrative leave pending further action. did you know that you can weigh in on government regulations? that is news to you, you are not alope. correspondent shannon bream tells us the comment period for input is getting shorter and shorter. >> if you don't pay attention to it, this is a whole part of the government that is operating secret otherwise. >> when congress passes a law, something massive as the 2 2,409
page affordable care tract is the beginning. they are given authority to issue regulation to spell out how the law will be enforced but not before giving the public a chance to weigh in. in 1993, president clinton called executive order to call on agencies to provide minimum of 60 days for public input. three new proposed regulation for obamacare assigned 30 days and will get 24. with the comment period set to end in the week between christmas and new year's. one of the regulation runs more than 400 pages. regulatory experts say it creates nearly impossible task. fully vetting the proposal and submitting in-depth comment by the deadline. >> very few people are aware that the regulatory process allows for public to comment. because of that, a lot of the agencies work in secret. >> americans for limited government sent letters to the administration asking why it's
flagrantly ignoring the appropriate comment period. expressing concern about the large number of new regulatory actions that are being undertaken by the administration since the november election. the department of health and human services tells us "governors, insurers an other partners encourage us to finance roles as soon as possible and we will continue to work with them as we imple innocent the law." under congressional review act they can overrule regulation but only after passing a resolution through both houses, which would then need the president's signature. doug? >> doug: shannon bream, thank you. we have more on the subject with the panel. a debate going on for decades. union and labor activists say it's good for economy. business owners disagree. peter doocy explains minimum wage is a hot topic. >> nearly 1 million people across america get raise on new yore's day.
not reward for job well done but they live in step states raising the minimum wage next week with increases ranging from modest dime an hour in missouri to 35 cents an hour in rhode island. supporters say right now income guarantee is important since some unions are weakening. >> the increase in the minimum wage does give workers the kind of safety net that businesses themselves and some governments frankly are taking away little by little. >> some experts think that assessment is antiquated. >> union and advocacy groups don't realize is the battle is no longer with management. it's with technology. if you go in the local target or something like that, you check your own price, automatic price checker instead of people on the floor to help you out. we have been through a period where we have seen the impact of higher minimum wage. it forces businesses to cut back. >> federal minimum wage is
$7.25. cities and states can set their own wages higher. like san francisco. which will raise its to $10.55 an hour on january 1. >> little more money in the pocket of workers, they will have an opportunity to go out and spend more money. and grow the economy a little bit. >> taking money away from business owners and giving it to low-skilled workers is not a formula for growth that all economists support. >> raising the minimum wage is interfering with the free market process always costs jobs. it increases unemployment. >> two democratic lawmakers senator harken and congressman george miller want to raise federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $# .80 over two years but republican senator alexander says the focus should be on job training and he is for maximum wages, not minimum wages. doug? >> doug: thank you, peter.
>> doug: you no doubt heard outsourcing to china blue there is a new phenomena bringing chinese students to college. but it's not clear cut outcome as pass/fail. >> 23-year-old arial jhang the central chinese province has a new normal at the u.s. college and universities. for the third straight year, most foreign students one in
four hail from china. 194,000 students, 23% increase in previous year. >> they are paying tens of thousands in tuition. they are very driven. >> aggressive recruiting brings challenges. chief among them is trouble with the language. at some schools they use head set for english to mandarin translation. at the university of san francisco that enrolls hundreds of students from china, an administrator got fed up and quit. dale smith was associate dean at the usf business school. and isn't talking. but according to account in
"san francisco chronicle" he feared influx that it might dilute the educational experience for the business students. i'll a valid concern, say experts who suggest the admission board rely as much on rig louse language screening as on test scores. >> it could go smoothly. it takes training on part of the staff. >> elsewhere on campus, where the number of chinese students pursuing american education is on expected to grow. >> more and more students come and want an opportunity here. >> claudia cowen, fox news. >> doug: from ghost town to boom town. california was population 1. just 25 years ago. the town is going high-tech in major way. anita vogel explains.
>> it has blossomed from 60 residents. they stream in the area to see the solar installations. rare earth minding expanded in the hills. >> it's terrific for me. i'm realizing my dream. doing something that i like doing. furning in to a business success. >> he says he has plans for an organic farm, electric vehicle charging station and more solar panels in the near future. doug? >> doug: anita vogel, thank you. new york newspaper names names when it comes to gun permit. well-known news anchor may have broken the law on live tv. grapevine up
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anchor is in hot water for more than just talking about the, i. nbc "meet the press" host david gregory could be in legal trouble following the sunday interview with the nra ceo wayne lapierre. he held up a 30-round gun magazine in the segment but it could have violated d.c. gun laws that read no person in the district shall possess, sell, transfer any large capacity ammunition feeding device regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm. the "washington post" reports that nbc sought permission from authorities to use it but was denied. the d.c. police chief said we are investigating incident to determine if the magazine was in fact real. one loud critic of the u.s. gun law is cnn host piers morgan. some in the u.s. are ready to send the british citizen packing. over 80,000 people signed requests on the white house petition site to deport morgan for engaging in "hostile
attack" against the constitution targeting the second amendment. white house requires 25,000 signatures to garner a response. on twitter, more gone asked if i do get deported from america for wanting fewer gun murders are there any other countries that will have me? one of the host of the bbc show "top gear" jumped in saying -- a new york newspaper is facing backlash for publishing the name and addresses of gun permit in two counties and posting it on interactive map. journal news obtained it legally through the freedom of information request. a gun owner argued the fact he has a firearm should be private noting why do my neighbors need to know that? i am not a threat. the newspaper defended its decision to publish the info. the massacre in town is top of mind for many readers who are understandably interested to know about guns in their
neighborhood. the paper added editor's note that the author of the article is a gun owner. the end of the year is quickly approaching. for the next few nights we'll look back at 2019, highlights an lowlights. tonight craig boswell takes us through a bruising primary of high spirited presidential campaign. congress chocked full of retirement and president obama healthcare law. 2012 is a bit of a nail biter. president obama ran uno'posed. but sluggish economy and high unemployment and no plan for recovery made him vulnerable. >> president's policies have not been success to feel reignite the economy, putting people back to work. >> earning his party's nomination was not as easy for the former massachusetts governor mitt romney. even though romney went on to
win decisive victories and becoming the republican nominee he emerged from the primary battle bruised. >> he is the worst republican in the country to put up against barack obama. >> romney's campaign saw several ups and downs but appearing confident and in command in the first debate, romney threw president obama off the game with the president delivering a shaky performance. >> the first debate sets the tone and can have the most impact but yeah, look, this is a series. >> mr. obama regained the footing by the third and final debate and ultimately won re-election. >> the best is yet to come. >> long serving texas congressman ron paul decided not to seek re-election to focus on white house bid is one of several high profile members of congress that will retire this year. >> government gets bigger, the liberties are diminishing. >> barney frank and burton from the house, jon kyl, kay bailey hutchison, lieberman
and nelson join members of the house and senate hanging up the congressional careers. 2012 also marked a milestone in implementation of president obama's healthcare law. in the 5-4 decision in june, the u.s. supreme court ruled a major crux of obamacare, the individual mandate is indeed constitutional. >> happy and pleased to put the supreme court ahead of partisanship. >> against the federal government that claimed map dated was violate of freedom. >> the republicans won't let up so what ever to repeal the terrible law. >> justices heard arguments from both sides and record-setting three-day hearing in march. at the time, it was unclear which way they were leaning. >> do you not have a heavy burden of justification to show authorization under the
constitution? >> purchase insurance in this case. something nellis the next case. if the government can do this, what else can it not do? >> there are several outstanning suits channeling the law, meaning obama care will be a hot button issue in 2013. they are locked in a showdown over taxes and spending and the average family is caught in the middle. in washington, craig boswell, fox news. >> doug: neil abercrombie is minutes away to saying who will fill the seat by the passing of inoue. 2012 brought more fighting and bloodshed to syria. will 2013 be different? it will be after the short brbrbrbrbrbrbr
in the name of god, i major general commander of the military police in syria declare my defection from the regime to army and joining the people's revolution for the following reasons -- >> the army derailed from the basic mission of protecting the people and it has become a game for killing and destruction.
>> doug: denouncing his defection, as the rebels continue to gain ground. we are looking at death toll more than a year of 44,000 people. terrible i strosties from both sides -- atrocities from both sides. on top of that, syria's stampest ally russia appears to be getting a little bit of cold feet in relationship there. russian foreign minister labrovov announcing to reporters that russia is not inviting assad to come home. we have no such plans. bill kristol, a.b. stoddard and syndicated columnist, charles krauthammer. who do you make of syria and russia getting cold feet. >> there is not mutual left
for writing on the wall. they have gaintory and most importantly the military facilities they capture weapo weaponry. for assad he is looking at the high level defection today. this is extremely high level. head of the military police. what he said is interesting. there are others high in the government to affect it but they can't. that could apply to assad himself. it is possible he will give asylum, probably in iran. maybe russia will change its mind. if he escapes. if he tries to escape it's possible his own people will kill him on the way to the airport. if he stays when the regime collapses, it probably will within the next few weeks or months. the others will kill him.
opposition. he will get as much of a trial as gaddafi did. the last option is one i mentioned last night. he could try to re-establish himself in tartus, in canton protected by points on the east. he might be able to exist in a while in iran, semi-independent under the french for decade-and-a-half after the first world war. those are the options. staying in power extremely unlikely. >> doug: you mentioned the port of tartus and it's a russian naval base. i wonder if we have a graphic here of the base. it's geopolitical stronghold for russia. their decision not to provide
amnesty, for assad at this point. >> russia has to think of their own concerns ahead of the relationship with syria, no longer the same. syria is crumbling and assad is likely to die there. convince him to break down or make concession. the rate at which we see this go on is where we watch defection of the high level of the military. if he tries to leave too soon, his life is in danger. where they go, he goes. he doesn't want to leave. waiting to see if he is killed
in his country. i don't think the russians can pressure him to make the decision. >> no matter what his fate, it won't put an end to bloodshed in country. >> no. this is a case study and not intervention. america is intervening everywhere. counterproductive. >> president obama was the most outspoken on this. how terrible of throwing the weight around. we didn't throw the wait around at all. they are not using helicopter and airplanes and then they did use them to kill people. where are we after the policy not the intervention? 44,000 people dead as you mentioned. islamists are stronger than they were a year ago. the chance to prop up sort of fairly sympathetic rebels to help them, arm them. now we have assad and bunch of
rebels for people who need to have terrorist ties. and chemical weapons unclear of who is in possession of those. prime minister. secret meeting to discuss what might be done about chemical weapons. not to do anything is also a choice. >> spoke to caroline glick, editor of "yum post" this morning and he is called the obama policy, using her words not mine insane. the small footprint leading from behind. if you weigh it against 19 years of the united states that we ran yesterday with young men coming home with no limbs, americans are tired of war and tired of thevo in the that part of the world.
>> true. but 11 years of all-out war and zero. there is something in between. the footprint in libya is partial one. as a result, we succeed. it's where al-qaeda affiliates are and ambassador were slain. that is fruits of staying out as well. in syria, at the end they are going where? to russia. moscow. for 30 years if you had a problem in the middle east. the worst part is by not supplying the rebels we allow saudis and qatari to funnel to jihadist rebel. that is why the jihadists now have the upper hand. why we are looking at the prospect of radical al-qaeda like syria as a result.
>> doug: this is a fox news alert. we are just getting update on former president george h.w. bush who has been in the hospital for a month now. after a series of setbacks including a persistent fever, president bush was admitted to intensive care unit where he is in guarded condition. doctors are cautiously optimistic. he is alert and conversing with the medical staff. we will keep a close eye on that. now back with the panel, the next segment is on government
regulations and how many people in the business community feel constrict growth of the economy. president obama from february 7 of 2011. >> i ordered government review. if there are rules on the books to stifle economic growth we will fix them. >> have they been fixed? go to the website regulations.gov to look at the latest regulations posted. today, 182 new regulations. in the last 30 days, 2,032 regulations. in 90 days, 5 ,745 regulatio regulations. in many cases they are several hundred pages long. this is a problem in and of itself. if you add to that the comment period mandated in law, have
been shortened down to 45 days. shorter comment period. >> the volume as you indicate is overwhelming. if you are a small business. you have no idea what will happen with the healthcare cost and taxes and the regulation. the second is the intrusiveness of this and it hurts small business that don't have the lawyers and the sharp, the former legislators for working around the regulation. then you have the lack of being open about it. there is a short comment period you are supposed to have 60 days while executive order. you are not getting it. executive runs this. they enact this on its own through regulation like the dream act and way it did to
strip away the work requirement in reform of welfare. these happen unilaterally. a lot of these are illegal and unconstitutional. february they are, they are constitutional, they are incredibly destructive of small business. >> doug: this pendulum swings to and fro does it not? >> what businesses have had to deal with before the healthcare law begins to take effect. regulatory behemoth for sure. they spent a year-and-a-half due to obstruction of both parties. they have not been able to invest hiring a new job. that layered on top of a regulatory -- exponential growth of new regulations is really disastrous situation. we remember the democrats.
we have environmentalists complaining in the eight years of the bush administration. the polluting they were railing about. largely unnoticed. this is executive power for every administration and executive branch out of the spotlight from the public. not something public informs itself about. republicans make an effort when it gets in to deregulate as much as they can when they control the white house again. obamacare is a new front in stranglehold of regulation and businesses as you know trying to do the best they can to convince employees to take stripe end and not on the roles. new level we haven't known before. >> three things going at once, which is gim to make it unprecedentedly regulatory burden on economy.
one is obamacare. massive piece of legislation. everywhere in the economy. side businesses. the healthcare providers. he that is extreme as we have seen regulation. dodd-frank, vague, and regulation and fights about the regulations. so much is at stake. no one knows legislation there. unlike obamacare is specific and leading to regulation. dodd frank is vague. third in the environmental area, where the obama administration did not succeed to get the legislative wish list pass. they do that through the epa and regulatory way. if you put it together, i think the u.s. economy is people get off the back a little bit. take off a little bit. we have energy discoveries. we had a slow growth for three or four years. investment on the sideline ready to go. not in president obama's interest. he pulls back some, i suspect
we could have the decent growth. they are aggressive regulators in the different parts of hhs, epa and financial areas. i don't know that the president is willing to rein them in. economic growth here. >> you mentioned the epa. inhof of the science committee issued a report back in october where he said the obama administration not just the epa but several agencies are working to find way to regulate the hydraulic fracturing at the federal level to stop the practice altogether. irony is fracking is one thing in the environmental -- excuse me, manufacturing sector that lifted up the economy. to the point it's not talked about exporting liquid natural gas. >> hypocrisy of the idealogue on the left. in the past coal was a big offender. they wanted to kill coal, which the epa has done. natural gas is wond evidenceful because it emit that was carbon. now coal is abolished we don't